Jalapenos can offer a nice spicy kick to any meal or serve as a bold snack on some nachos with cheese. However, you choose to eat your jalapenos, you may not want more than a couple on your meal at one time. So, what are you to do with the rest you bought?
There are plenty of reasons that you may be left with some jalapenos after preparing a meal. If you are conscious of only using ingredients that are in season, or you simply have some left over from cooking for any reason, you may want to know if there is a way to freeze them.
The quick answer is that you are able to freeze jalapenos, which is perfect since you can then use them all year round and not have to worry about wasting them or ordering some in when they are not necessarily in season where you live.
This guide will tell you how you can freeze jalapenos, the tools you will need to do so, as well as go into detail about the defrosting process and the benefits of freezing your jalapenos for future use. If you read to the end, you will also find some things that you may want to consider when you are freezing your jalapenos, this is likely to be helpful to keep in mind when you are planning on freezing them for meals in the future.
How to freeze jalapenos
There are few kitchen tools that you are going to need to freeze your jalapeno peppers. They include: the jalapenos themselves, a knife, a chopping board, gloves, freezer bags, ice cube tray, a cookie sheet and some water.
Once you have all of these things ready in front of you, you can start with the freezing preparations. Here is a step by step guide of how to freeze jalapeno peppers:
- Step one: wash your jalapenos so that any bacteria they have accumulated is washed off. You can also take this time and step to get rid of any jalapenos that appear mushy since these will not freeze well.
- Step two: cut off the stems of your jalapenos, then scoop out the seeds if you know that you will be dicing or slicing your frozen jalapenos. (This is where your gloves will come in handy: you do not want this on your fingers as it could easily be transferred to your eyes). OR leave them whole if you are unsure what you want to do with them.
- Step three: prepare to flash freeze your whole jalapenos by placing them on a cookie sheet or a tray that is freezer safe and then place them in the freezer uncovered. OR you can take an ice cube tray and place all of the diced jalapeno pieces into there.
- Step four: take diced jalapenos out of the ice cube tray and place the cubes into freezer bags. OR take the whole or sliced jalapenos off the cookie sheet and place them in freezer bags.
All of these methods will lead to perfectly frozen jalapeno peppers that will be good for use in a few months’ time. But you should label your freezer bags with the date that you started freezing your jalapenos since it is best not to leave them in there for over six months.
How to defrost jalapenos
This is a very easy process no matter which way you chose to freeze your jalapenos. Take out the freezer bags full of either whole jalapenos or sliced or dices portion sizes. If you know that you are going to be cooking a meal that requires any of the types of jalapenos you have prepared, you can thaw them out in the refrigerator the night before you need them.
For a natural thawing process, you can thaw them out in the refrigerator for eight hours or overnight. But if you are in a rush, and you know that the meal requires cooked jalapenos, then you can simply take some sliced or dices jalapenos out of the freezer and place them straight in your pan. The heat from the pan will speed up the thawing process and the texture won’t matter too much since they are in the whole meal anyway.
Things to consider before freezing jalapenos
There are no real hidden issues with freezing jalapenos. The only thing to note about the actual jalapenos themselves is that they will obviously not be exactly the same texture as when they were fresh after you have thawed them out. But this will likely be unnoticeable when in a meal.
In terms of safety, make sure that you are wearing gloves, or at least wash your hands thoroughly after handling jalapeno peppers, especially if you are cutting them. The reason for this is that the capsaicin that the jalapenos have in them can actually be a skin irritant, and you do not want it anywhere near your eyes.
A good tip for the freezing process is to use freezer bags so that you can get rid of all the excess air when you come to place your jalapenos in the bags. This will eliminate the risk of any unwanted bacteria as well as the potential for freezer burn on the jalapenos.
Be sure to label your freezer bags so that you know what the portion sizes are, as well as the way that you have cut the jalapenos, since this will be beneficial for different dishes. Although this guide has gone into deeper detail about using jalapenos in cooked dishes, you can also use frozen diced jalapenos in raw dishes such as nachos or salads. Just remember that you should thaw them out in the fridge thoroughly beforehand.
You can definitely freeze jalapenos, but make sure that you follow this guide to get the best results when you want to thaw out your jalapenos after having prepared them. keep your skin and eyes safe by using gloves, and make sure that you thaw out your jalapenos fully before using them in a raw dish.